WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama's lead over Republican rival Mitt Romney fell to 1 percentage point, a statistical tie, a United Press International poll indicated.
After last week's presidential debate, 48 percent of likely voters said they support Obama while Romney's support rose to 47 percent within the same group, results of the UPI-CVoter poll released Monday indicated.
In the UPI-CVoter poll before the debate, 49 percent of registered voters said they back Obama compared with 46 percent who said they support Romney.
The president's job-approval ratings held steady, with 49 percent of registered voters saying they approve of his first-term performance and 47 percent saying they do not, results indicated. The percentages are identical to the polling period before the debate.
Concerning economic issues, 40 percent of registered voters identified the economy as the country's most important issue while 19 percent named unemployment, the UPI-CVoter poll said.
Sixty-five percent of registered voters said the economy was very or fairly bad while 34 percent said the economy was very or fairly good, results showed.
In congressional races, registered voters said they preferred the Republican Party over the Democratic Party, 36 percent to 31 percent, as the party they thought was better suited to tackle issues such as the economic crisis, unemployment, the war on terror and rising prices.
However, the poll found voter disenchantment with both parties, with 17 percent saying they thought neither party was equipped to tackle such issues.
Results are based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,196 of registered voters, including 1,046 likely voters, conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 10. The margin of error is 3.5 percent for the total sample and 4.5 percentage points for likely voters.